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Childminding concerns which may be linked to dd's change in behaviour.

33 replies

galaxy · 30/12/2006 21:21

We moved dd (4) to a new minder 4 months ago. Her minder is very pleasant and has a 4 year old herself but she appears to do nothing with her mindees. dd has never done any colouring, crafts or anything remotely hands on. She occassionally has a story but that seems to be a rare occurence. The TV is permanently on - it's on with the kids watching it when dh drops off at 9 and still on when he or I collect at 5. They do play with toys and there are occasional trips to the park but there doesn't appear to be any interraction with the minder. dd's first minder that she was with for 3 years did loads with her charges. We were always receiving colourings, paintings, cakes etc, they had story time and vists to play groups and the library. I'm not expecting something every day, but at least 1 picture in 4 months would have been nice.
In addition, dd's behaviour has deteriorated - she seems to have a very limited attention span, doesn't listen to or do as she's told and has been a complete handful over this Christmas week.
On a less important but still annoying note, the bill for this week included a full day charge for Christmas and Boxing Day which was completely unexpected - contract isn't clear either way. dd wasn't with minder at all this week.
dd currently goes to minder 4 afternoons a week and full days in holidays. From this term, she'll be there for 3 afternoons only plus f/t in holidays.
I'm becoming more convinced that her behaviour change is linked to the lack of stimulation and too much TV and am considering sending her to pre-school full time instead which I think she's ready for. The only problem I'll have is the school holidays which will cause some issues as her school has longer holidays than state schools.
I want to do the right thing but don't want to cause dd any unnecessary stress.

OP posts:

galaxy · 30/12/2006 21:39

Long post but I didn't ask any questions! I guess what I'm trying to get my head around is whether the lack of stimualation and the increased exposure to TV could be contributing to her "naughtiness" or whether it's just her at the moment.

Also, is it unusual for a minder not to do any activities with their mindees? Maybe we're expecting too much - I don't think so.

Oh and do most minders charge full day rate on bank holidays incl Christmas Day. My sister was a minder andnever charges and nor did the other minders in her group.

OP posts:

MerryChristmasPANDAGHappyNewYe · 30/12/2006 21:46

I only rarely use the tv when I am minding - maybe half an hour after lunch when children no longer have a nap - to give them a bit of quiet downtime while I clear up lunch and set up a craft activity. I do a craft activity of some kind every day - but some of these may be playdough, or drawing in sand or salt, so no takehome evidence, but at least 50% of the time the mindees would have something to take home. I do not charge for bank holiays, and I make that clear in the contract. Does your minder have a daily diary for your DD? Perhaps you could suggest she does one, so you know what she is doing.


Tommy · 30/12/2006 21:46

if I was paying someone to look after my chld, I would expect them to do more than watch TV all day.


annh · 30/12/2006 21:49

Sounds as if her behaviour could definitely be linked to the lack of activities and too much TV. Did the minder have the TV on when you first went to visit her? Did you talk to her about activities which she does with the children? What I'm trying to get at is whether what she is doing in practice is completely different to what you were led to expect. If so, I think you have grounds for sitting down with her and having a chat.

What does your dd say? Is she happy with the minder? Does she give any indication of what she does there?

If the contrasct isn't clear on charges for bank holidays or any other areas, maybe this is also the time to clear that up before you get hit with other unexpected charged.


gemmiegoatlegs · 30/12/2006 21:56

my childminder does charge for bank holidays, if she would normally have my children those days, all in the contract. As for the "handful over the christmas period" situation, my ds has bbe exactly the same. I think it's being off pre school and the break in a routine he has only recently settled into...


galaxy · 30/12/2006 22:03

Thanks for your replies. When we 1st met with her, we were sort of desparate and probably didn't ask enough questions. I did ask what she did with the children but she didn't really answer - mentioned library etc and dd seemed to settle in on her 1st trial visit so well that we went with her. We saw another lady and her husband who were fab but they couldn't do the days we needed and lived a bit too far away. She would have been perfect.
dd is happy although she does say the c/m shouts and I did witness the c/m's dh shouting at the top of his voice at his ds because he disturbed him whilst he was working in their office. I looked taken aback but it was bad timing as c/m was telling me how "troublesome" dd had been that day.
I had a diary in place with the previous minders but this cm said she doesn't want to fill that in. The previous minder extablished what she's done at school, what she had for school lunch and what they'd done together.
we've had comments from school that dd is being out of character..bossy, distracted, not doing as she's told.

OP posts:

nannynick · 30/12/2006 22:06

Upon first reading, my first thoughts were that your dd was probably at school most of the day, thus the reason for not bringing home much in terms of colouring pictures etc. However reading again, it appears your dd is not just before and after school, but is at pre-school for only some of the time, and therefore I am surprised that more isn't done.

As a nanny, I do very little with the children I care for in terms of colouring pictures. Reason being, I'm not very good at them myself! However the 3 year old I care for will sit herself down and trace around stensils. We do lots of baking and we go outdoors a lot, advantage for being in easy access of the countryside. I suppose what I am trying to get at is that not all childcares are good at art... and thus may not offer it all that often, and even when it is offered perhaps your dd doesn't do it. Given the choice between TV and doing a picture, TV may be winning every time!

Behaviour getting worse could be due to lack of exercise... being Winter now, it's harder to get out and about and children do end up being indoors a lot of the time. I try to get the children out and about as much as possible, we wrap up warm and wear wellie boots. As it is now school holidays, I would expect your minder to be taking the children to the park/woods at least once a week.

The situation with fees really needs to be discussed. It should have been clearer in the contract regarding if you were expected to pay for Public Holidays. It isn't unreasonable for the childminder to expect to be paid for these, though I doubt many childminders charge for Xmas day itself.

Is your dd happy with your childminder?
Are there other childcare options you could consider for holidays, if your childminder won't provide more stimulation/activities?


galaxy · 30/12/2006 22:19

nannynick, thanks for your post. The fact is that dd likes her, loves her ds and the other children that go there. She's had upheaval this year with change from her original c/m who gave up and then having to be moved from the new one because of behavioural difficulties that the c/m's son had impacting on dd. This is why I am so torn as to know what to do.
The money is not the big issue although it would work out cheaper for us to send her to pre-school fulltime even allowing for after school club most days. We wouldn't be paying for every day of school holidays - I work from home some days so dd could be at home or she could go to a holiday club.
I'm rubbish at arty/crafty things too so understand that but she's never even been presented with a colouring book, play dough or plasticine.

I dunno,my heart says go down the school route. She'll go to state school from September so extended hols won't be an issue. Maybe we need to ask dd what sh wants?

OP posts:

ThePrisoner · 31/12/2006 20:20

I think that nannynick is being very kind about your childminder. I am a little less charitable.

Only producing one picture in 4 months is, to be honest, quite unbelievable - I assume that your dd enjoys doing art/craft and isn't refusing to do it. My mindees don't take something home every day, but we will have certainly done more than watch TV. She may enjoy watching it, but watching it all day must have an impact on behaviour.

I am also one of those minders who doesn't charge for bank holidays but, as you probably realise, we all work differently.


galaxy · 01/01/2007 20:25

Thanks for your comments ThePrisoner. dd goes back tomorrow and I've already decided to send her with a lunch-box instead of having the minder's lunch (which is usually sausage rolls, crisps and the like). Think I may have offended her by texting that she'd be bringing a lunch box as we're trying to get her to eat more healthy food to see if it helps her bahaviour.

I'm going to make a point of asking dd exactly what she's done every day and then think about what to do. Also need to talk to work before I make any decisions to see how they feel about me having dd at home on days I'm working from home in the school holidays.

She's been an angel for the last 2 days and took great pleasure in going shopping for healthy food for her lunchbox yesterday.

OP posts:

galaxy · 02/01/2007 11:14

Whilst dd was getting ready this morning to go to the Childminders, she said "Mummy, I wont tell xx that you are sending me with a lunchbox so I can eat healty food and that she should turn the TV off as that may hurt her feelings. But I will ask her if I can do some colouring today but I don't think she has any pencils"

Oops! I think she may have been eavesdropping!

OP posts:

ThePrisoner · 02/01/2007 20:48

So how did the day go? I suppose it would be a bit obvious if you sent your dd with some colouring pencils of her own!!!


galaxy · 02/01/2007 21:56

Well she was apparently perfectly well-behaved, loved her lunch (made a big thing of it being healthy)! She played with the 2 other children and seemed to enjoy herself but her opening words when dh brought her home were " the tv was on all day again"!

She's back at school from next Wednesday so I think I'll wait and see how things go from then on. Worked out that over Easter she is off for 4 weeks which will be a big problem to try and get cover for the 2 weeks over and above state school holidays. Can get holiday club for the main 2 weeks.


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galaxy · 03/01/2007 11:21

Bigger concern now. I dropped off this morning - a rare occurrence and the house stank of cigarette smoke. I made a comment to dd as I took her coat off and she ays that she has seen the cm's dh smoking in the house ocassionally during the day.

Didn't even realise either of them were smokers. Think my mind is made up and I just have to try and sort the holidays out now.

OP posts:

SherlockLGJ · 03/01/2007 11:28

When do you hear from you know where ?

They have a fab after school club ?


shosha · 03/01/2007 11:30

Message withdrawn


galaxy · 03/01/2007 11:38

LGJ...end of Feb. I was looking at that last night - and it runs in the school hols too so no concerns from Sept onwards assuming she gets in - fingers crossed very tightly!

Was thinking of Barracudas for some days in the summer. Main issue is the month she is off over Easter.

I can't say anything about the smoking in the house though as dd may have got it wrong - she was quite vague - he may have been standing on the doorstep to the back garden? She says it was ages ago.

OP posts:

nannynick · 03/01/2007 11:56

If it's of any help, I'm off work week beginning 2 April and week beginning 9 April. Could perhaps solve two weeks of the Easter Hols. Contact me directly to discuss if you like, I'm sure you can find my contact details on the web if you don't have them already.


KTeePee · 03/01/2007 12:09

I have to say that these are the sort of things I worried about happening if I sent my dd to a childminder - so I chose a day nursery instead... not saying at all that all childminders are like that but I have observed a few out and about here who have done things I was a bit at!


blondehelen · 03/01/2007 12:16

I removed my ds from cm I was originally happy with and then a few niggles started, pretty much like you described. i have since checked her latest ofsted report and it was horrendous. Might be worth checking out her ofsted report If you have doubts then you need to look elsewhere. Easier said done i know and quite stressful but it will be worth it in the end.


galaxy · 03/01/2007 14:04

nannynick..that's kind of you thanks. Have seen your website and very impressive! Think the main Easter hols are ok tbh as I will take a week off and she can either go to my mum or to a holiday scheme. Its the 23rd March and the 16th I may struggle with but hoping that in-laws will be back in UK by then so may be OK.

I have always been a strong advocator of minder over nursery and still am but I think that we didn't do our homework properly on this occassion.

OP posts:

notformethanks · 03/01/2007 16:08


"I have to say that these are the sort of things I worried about happening if I sent my dd to a childminder - so I chose a day nursery instead"

Having worked in several day nurseries and seen the standards of care/what goes on there, I would never send a child to one (or work in one again).



smeeinit · 03/01/2007 16:37 with you on that one! i think most people on here who know me will know i would rather put my children in a cage full of rabied dogs than put them in a nursery!!
again as someone who has worked in nurserys and seen first hand what REALLY goes on its the last place my children would EVER go.
altho that said i dont think any nurserys would want my 2 teengers anyway!!


shosha · 03/01/2007 16:42

Message withdrawn


KTeePee · 03/01/2007 16:49

Well, my view was that a childminder working on her own could just be plonking the kids in front of the tv all day - and I would never know until they were old enough to talk... I think my views were possibly coloured by the two fishwives working as childminders on my road tbh

My dd went to a lovely family run nursery with plenty of structure to the day, lots of activities, etc. and a low staff turnover. She was very happy there but I'm sure day nurseries vary wildly and don't suit everyone....

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